||08-27-2009 02:03 PM
Julian Wright set to benefit from Rasual Butler trade
The first thought that popped into Julian Wright's mind when he learned the Hornets had traded Rasual Butler two weeks ago might have been the same as the average fan.
"We just traded away a starter for a second-round draft choice," Wright said Sunday.
The reality later struck like a thunderbolt.
"When I got deeper into it, the next thing to think about was that more minutes would open up at the wing, and that it was an opportunity," said Wright, about to enter his third NBA season. "It would be in my best interest to continue to work hard and maybe gain some of those minutes that Rasual averaged last year.
"So that's what I looked at. It's a business. This team, the front office is trying to re-mold this team into a way that we can compete this year. Every year it changes, even it's the same 14 in the locker room. It's a new year. That's what I thought about, and just trying to look forward to trying to take more of a responsibility and fill a void."
During his first two seasons, Wright has struggled to find his niche.
A crowd favorite because of his athleticism, he has been unable to hold onto a spot in Coach Byron Scott's normal game rotation. And on the occasions when Scott would give Wright regular minutes, the young forward often pressed resulting in silly errors which landed him back on the bench.
Once again this summer, Wright has spent time in Chicago working with renowned trainer Tim Grover, who was once Michael Jordan's off-season mentor. Wright's five-day-a-week routine included work in the weight room as well as on the court where participants in Grover's summer program play five-on-five games.
So far this summer, Wright has faced some impressive players in the pick-up contests.
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